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RJ Spagnols spagnols bolero italian merlot

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Abby

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Just started today, with my 23 liters of sterilized must. Poured it into the primary fermenter, stirred in the betonite, then the oak. As my humble basement is a tad on the cool side - seldom above 70F on the warmer side and never higher than about 60F on the cool side of the basement, I did not pitch the yeast right away. Instead, using a battery blanket (oh, such were the joys of living in Saskatchewan - just in case you should ask, no, I don't miss 6 consecutive weeks were the daytime high is -35) wrapped loosely around the primary, warmed it up to about 68F then pitched. The primary temp now is about 72F and I believe I can hear the very faintest sizzle as the yeast starts to bubble away.

The beginning sg is 1.085.

This kit is different than the ones I have used previously in that the wine remains in the primary until it is time for the wine to be stabilized and cleared. Only then is it racked into the secondary.
 

cpfan

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Abby:

I've heard some very good things about that kit. Hope you enjoy the results.

We made a Bolero Italian Pinot Grigio over 5 years ago. It was great.

Steve
 

Abby

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Gentlemen,

We have fermentation. Puttering along at 76F.

Egad, I am easily amused.
 

Abby

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With the SG at .996 I duly racked the merlot into the carboy for stabilizing and degassing.

Observation: the powdered oak formed a nice sludge at the bottom of my primary, and it took me 4 flipping hours to rack the wine as it kept clogged up the end of my syphon. I was underwhelmed.

On the bright side, my new whip degassing tool works wonderful. I can taste the potential of this wine even at this stage.. I think I am going to be very pleased.
 

cpfan

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Abby:

do you not have a black or red anti-sediment tip at the end of your racking rod?? I make 30-50 wines per month in a Ferment on Premises. If it takes you an hour, you are doing something seriously wrong, like not having the proper equipment. Unless doing a kit with free floating grape skins...mutter mutter.

Steve
 

Abby

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do you not have a black or red anti-sediment tip at the end of your racking rod?? I make 30-50 wines per month in a Ferment on Premises. If it takes you an hour, you are doing something seriously wrong, like not having the proper equipment. Unless doing a kit with free floating grape skins...mutter mutter.
Oh yes I do! :) and believe me, it didn't help much. This is the first time I have ever had this problem. Usually, things rack off quite nicely in less than 1/2 hour. This kit, however, used powdered oak, not chips, or cubes. The result is a very fine sludge much like Bay of Fundy Mud. (kind of like wet cornstarch) Clogs things up very nicely.
 

cpfan

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Abby:

I deal with oak powder at the bottom of the primary ALL the time. It is not a problem for me. Elderberries, oak chips, grape skins...yeah...they get in the way, but not to the degree you mentioned.

Steve
 

Abby

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Abby:

I deal with oak powder at the bottom of the primary ALL the time. It is not a problem for me. Elderberries, oak chips, grape skins...yeah...they get in the way, but not to the degree you mentioned.

Steve
Part, I suspect, was also that I refused to stand over it all the time. I would get it started, and patter off to do other things, and when I got back, it was clogged up.
 

Abby

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The Merlot was stabilzed, cleared. Today it was racked off, and will now sit in the cooler part of my basement until such time as I bottle it. This will probably be a few months down the road.

The wine is a dark garnet red, and tastes very promising. I have great hopes for it.

I think the next I want to try from this line is the Australian Chardonnay..
 

cpfan

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Abby:

No comments on the Oz Chardonnay, but I've heard lots good about the Italian Pinot Grigio.

Steve
 
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Part, I suspect, was also that I refused to stand over it all the time. I would get it started, and patter off to do other things, and when I got back, it was clogged up.
One siphoning technique that I learned from brewing beer (you always get tons of sediment with beer), is to hold the racking cane a good 4 or 5 inches above the bottom. Yes you have to stand there, (unless you want to rig something up with duct tape) but the liquid transfers fast and you ensure that you are leaving all the dead yeast in the primary. As the liquid gets close to the bottom, I will keep lowing the cane and tilting the carboy/bucket until I transfer all that I can.

Another way to help speed things up is to put your primary as high up as you can. I've never timed myself, but I imagine it doesn't take me more than 15min to transfer 6 gallons.
 

FentonCellars

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I too Abby have had issues with the oak dust/sludge. I did what Driftless Brewer mentioned and it worked fine. My transfer tube is just that... a tube with no screen or such. I live life on the edge, but this allowed me to top off with wine of the same type. I am looking to get a pump and some sort of screen to stop this from happening, since I'll be planning on getting to the numbers as cpfan.
 

Wizza

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Heya all im new to this board I too brew beer and looking into wine making. One tricks is to use a 5gal paint strainer bag $1 at any hardware store. Put your racking cane into it and then run your cane into the carboy it will not clog as easy and if does move it just a bit. Make sure to soak it in sanitizer first but ive done this trickthat others have told me with lots of pellet hops in my beer and no clogs.
 

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